Books I’ve Read

Book CoverTitleAuthorCompletion
Date
NotesRecommendation
"Ja"Hard Times, Good People

274 pp.

978-1-68394-340-2
Kurt D. Thelen, Ph.D.

(my brother-in-law)
September 8, 2019The second book written by my brother-in-law about the growing up of his Father and Mother's families.

Well done!
Great story!
One Last Great Thing
A Story of a Father and a Son, a Story of a Life and a Legacy

130 pp.

978-1-4767-1165-2
John BurkeAugust 16, 2019Second time I read the book, and for a reason. See below.Great book. Written by the son of the founder of Trek Bicycles, who was a very passionate man.
Bobke II

195 pp.

1-931382-28-X
Bobke (Bob Roll)September 4, 2018
Absolutely hilarious...and irreverent. I'll never watch TdF coverage the same.
You WILL laugh out loud.
A Practical Guide to Culture

340 pp

978-1-4347-1101-4
John Streenstreet & Brett KunkleDidn't document my exact finish date.Useful book.
Christian Dad's breakfast book.
Toy Box Leadership

183 pp.

1-59555-328-2
Ron Hunter Jr. & Michael E. WaddellStarted, but haven't finished.Clever premise.
Land of Second Chances - The Impossible Rise of Rwanda's Cycling Team

327 pp.

978-1-937715-20-5
Tim LewisFinished March 15, 2017 Enjoyed the book.
The One Year Bible (New Living Translation)

1,442 pp.

0-8423-3289-8
many authorsJanuary 25, 2017I've read out of the Bible almost every day for the last 32 years, but this offers a structured way to read through the whole Bible in one year, reading Psalms and Proverbs twice.Must read...daily!
When Boppa Was a Boy

197 pp.

978-1-62772-386-2
Kurt D. Thelen
Illustrated by Kelsey D. Thelen
January 22, 2017This was written by my brother-in-law, Kurt Thelen Ph.D., and was illustrated by his daughter (my niece), Kelsey.
The Wright Brothers

267 pp.

978-1476728742
David McCulloughAbout January 12, 2016This was an amazing book about some amazing people. Royally enjoyed the book.Great book.

I still have to read his 600+ page book, "John Adams", on which an excellent HBO series was based.
The Last Lion: Winston Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940 - 1965

1,050 pp.

978-0345548634
William Manchester & Paul ReidAbout December 15, 2015Probably the longest book I've ever read outside of the Bible.
I really enjoyed the book and had fun making a mind map of all the people, places, etc. that are involved to keep them all straight.
Great book.

Here's a hand-written "mind map" I wrote while reading the book to keep all of the names straight.
One Last Great Thing
A Story of a Father and a Son, a Story of a Life and a Legacy

130 pp.

978-1-4767-1165-2
John BurkeAugust 21, 2015Really enjoyed the book. Great story (about the foundation of Trek bicycle company), great tribute.Quick read. Great book. Written by the son of the founder of Trek Bicycles, who was a very passionate man.
7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness

194 pp.

978-1-5955-5469-7
Eric MetaxasDecember 26, 2014George Washington
Eric Liddell

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

William Wilberforce

Jackie Robinson

Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)

Chuck Colson
I liked the book and recommmend it.
Lance Armstrong - It's Not About the Bike - My Journey Back to Life

275 pp.

0-399-14611-3
Lance ArmstrongNovember 26, 2014 The book brought me much closer to those undergoing cancer treatment, especially when the treatment is misrable.
Lance is amazing, a maniac, and sort of an unrestrained child. But people are complicated and never perfect.

I enjoyed the book.
In the end I enjoyed the book.
Knowing that he is (now) and admitted doper I wonder when he started and how that correlates with the books' timeline, where Lance claims he would never dope, not after chemo.

I'm curious as to why he and his wife divorced.
How Now Shall We Live?

641 pp.

978-0-8423-5588-9
Chuck Colson with Nancy PearceyAugust 29, 2014It took me, honestly, a couple of years to get through the book. It is deep, and Chuck is intellectual.
I liked the book and found it quite valuable.
Great book on Christian worldview. Chuck is right on. Contains some great (and true) stories.
You can definitely see some of the roots in Colson's book come from C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity".
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

381 pp.

978-0-06-208235-0
Chris KyleJuly 21, 2014I definitely learned more about Navy SEALs and the life of a sniper.



I am even more grateful for the work, risk and sacrifice of our military.



A movie with the same title is now out on Chris Kyle's life (which I also saw, and also liked).
Interesting read. I enjoyed reading it and feel I have a tiny insight into what that military role was like. The author did a great job.



Not for everyone.
Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child

206 pp.

0-8054-4030-5
Kevin SwansonFebruary 22, 2014I've heard Kevin speak in person and I could "hear him" as I was reading the book.


Very challenging, not for the faint.
Highly recommended.



Kevin sets the bar high and is a great communicator.
Boy Racer: My Journey to Tour de France Record-Breaker

285 pp.

978-1-93403064-6
Mark CavendishOctober 8, 2013I wasn't so interested in Mark Cavendish...not at all, but I was interested in learning more about professional bike racing and especially the Tour de France and I enjoyed reading about Mark and his story.Enjoyed the book.



There's always a razor sharp edge dividing confidence and arrogance.

It was nice to see him express gratitude for the work of his teammates!
Biking Across America - My Coast-to-Coast Adventure and the People I Met Along the Way

222 pp.

978-0-8007-2178-7
Paul StutzmanJune 23, 2013What a great adventure. Should the opportunity arise I would like to do something like that.
I definitely learned more about the culture of certain areas of the country and enjoyed the book.
Enjoyable read. Nice to learn more about this great country, too.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Dog Days

217 pp.

978-0-8109-83915
Jeff KinneyMarch 23, 2013I read this together with my youngest daughter.
Don't forget, "Honesty is the best policy."
If you were ever a teenage boy you have to think a lot of this is hilarious.
Gospel-Powered Parenting

220 pp.

978-1-59639-135-3
William P. FarleyFebruary 24, 2013Our small group Bible study read this together.
The book talks about applying the gospel to parenting.
Good book. Glad I read it. Parents need the gospel too.
The One Year Bible (New Living Translation)

1,442 pp.

0-8423-3289-8
many authorsDecember 31, 2012I've read out of the Bible almost every day for the last 39 years, but this offers a structured way to read through the whole Bible in one year, reading Psalms and Proverbs twice.Must read...daily!
Unbroken

406 pp.

978-1-4000-6416-8
Laura HillenbrandApril 3, 2012The story of Olympian and war hero Louie Zampirini.



Amazing story about an amazing person. Must read!
Must-read...an outstanding book. I am a tougher person after reading this book. The content of the book is pretty much guaranteed to make you uncomfortable at some parts.
Living Hope for the End of Days - A 52 Week Devotional from the Book of Revelation

518 pp.

9781933561202
Dr. John BarnettDecember 31, 2011The book was a gift.
Daily devotional through the book of Revelation. Definitely learned some things. The author challenged the reader often and in a number of ways.
I Beat the Odds

250 pp.

978-1-592-40612-8
Michael OherOctober 1, 2011Can't believe how tough some have it. Thank God for a number of loving and caring people who intervene.
Also great to read about a very determined person who didn't let their circumstances determine their outcome.
Good read.
Crazy Love - Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

205pp.

978-1-4347-6851-3
Francis ChanJuly 16, 2011205 pp.Our small group Bible study read this together.

Generalization: There are two kinds of christians, those that focus on "doing" and those that focus on "being". Francis, in my mind, focuses on doing.

The book is very challenging to the reader.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Rodrick Rules

217 pp.

978-0-8109-9473-7
Jeff KinneyDecember 4, 2010I read this together with my youngest daughter.
Don't forget, "Honesty is the best policy."
Prey

364 pp.

0-06-621412-2
Michael Crichton
(deceased)
(the Jurassic Park, and Andromeda Strain guy)
October 17, 2010A little far-fetched, but hey...it's a sci-fi book.
What I really got the most out of was the author's preface about not engineering nature.
It's Your Ship - Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy

212 pp.

0-446-52911-7
Captain D. Michael AbrashoffSeptember 10, 2010 A few more pages and I will have read this two times.
I totally love this book and every manager should read it.
Absolutely a must-read, especially for anyone who manages people. This includes parents.
I really enjoyed this book. Great job, Captain Mike, especially about being so transparent!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid

217 pp.

978-0-8109-9316-6
Jeff KinneyMay 19, 2010I read this together with my youngest daughter.
Does not exemplify ideal behavior but was funny.
The 12 Week Year

63 pp.

978-0-9729635-1-0***
Brian P. Moran
(friend of mine)
May 19, 2010I was seriously motivated by this book and thought Brian put to the reader straight saying that change is painful, but worthwhile goals are worth the pain.Read it. Do what it says.

***A new edition has subsequently been released.
Wild at Heart

220 pp.

0-7852-6883-9
John EldredgeMay 2, 2010Book was a gift.
I liked how the author was very transparent and very honest.
Star Wars: Dark Lord - The Rise of Darth Vader

338 pp.

978-0-345-47733-0
James LucenoAugust 22, 2009
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace - One School at a Time

349 pp.

9780143038252
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver RelinSomewhere in Q3 of 2009 I read this book twice. I learned so much about a place I really knew nothing about.Apparently it has come out that some parts of the book were ad-libbed to fill in some blanks, but I still really liked the book. It's funny how many Pakistani people I've met since I've read this book.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

759 pp.

0-545-01022-5
J.K. RowlingDecember 20, 2008Loved the whole series. Very clever. Glad I made it to the end!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

652 pp.

0-439-78454-9
J.K. RowlingNovember 27, 2008
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

870 pp.

0-439-35806-X
J.K. RowlingOctober 30, 2008
Life of Pi

audio book version, about 11 hours
(book is 420 pp.)

0156030209
Yann MartelSeptember 29, 2008
Nineteen Minutes

778 pp. large print

978-158547-991-7
Jodi PicoultJuly 29, 2008
Absolute Power

469 pp.

0-446-51996-0
David BaldacciApril 30, 2008Neighborhood book club book, if I remember correctly
Water for Elephants

335 pp.

1-56512-499-5
Sara GruenJanuary 19, 2008 around 12:30amNeighborhood book club book, if I remember correctly
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

734 pp.

0-439-13959-7
J.K. RowlingJanuary 11, 2008Fun read
Flags of Our Fathers

540 pp.

0-553-58934-2
James BradleyNovember 20, 2007Watched the movie, tooAmazing story and amazing book.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

547 pp.

0-439-65548-X
J.K. RowlingOctober 11, 2007
Veil of Roses

309 pp.

987-0-553-38388-1
Laura FitzgeraldAugust 31, 2007Book club book
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

341 pp.

0-439-06487-2
J.K. RowlingAugust 27, 2007
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

309 pp.

0-590-35342-X
J.K. RowlingAugust 12, 2007
The Glass Castle

288 pp.

0-7432-4754-X
Jeannette WallsIn the wee hours of April 28, 2007Unbelievable how hard some have it growing up.Must read. You won't be the same thereafter, and that's good.
Confessions of a Reformission Rev - Hard Lessons From an Amerging Missional Church

197 pp.

0-310-27016-2
Mark DriscollMarch 10, 2007Very glad I read the book. Absolutely laughed out loud multiple times.
The Pursuit of HappyNess

302 pp.

0-06-074487-1
Chris GardnerAlso on March 10, 2007Again, unbelievable how some get off to a hard start.Gained some interesting insights
Boundaries

296 pp.

0-310-24745-4
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John TownsendJanuary 2, 2006Can't hear no.
Can't say no.
Can't hear yes.
Can't say yes.
Absolutely must read for pretty much everybody.
Who doesn't have at least one of the four boundary problems?
An Unfinished Life

272 pp.

1-4000-7614-5
Mark SpraggOctober 18, 2006
Vanishing Act

418 pp.

978-0-7434-5454-4
Jodi PicoultJuly 20, 2006Neighborhood book club book.
The Devil in the White City - Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

396 pp.

0-375-72560-1
Erik LarsonMay 16, 2006About the Chicago World's Fair near the turn of the century.Absolutely amazing, clever book. You will not sleep the same for a while after reading it.
A Different Kind of Teacher - Solving the Crisis of American Schooling

230 pp.

1-893163-21-0
John Taylor GattoSomewhere near the beginning of May 2006Profound book. Strongly recommended reading.
Kite Runner

371 pp.

1-59448-000-1
Khaled HosseiniOctober 15, 2005
The Gold Coast

500 pp.

0-446-51504-3
Nelson DeMilleApril 25, 2005Not safe for church on SundayVery entertaining read
Escape from Slavery

285 pp.

978-0312306243
Francis BokMarch 4, 2005If any of this is true, and I assume, for now, that it is, this was a horrible situation
The Time Traveler's Wife

650 pp. (big print edition)

015602943X
Audrey NiffeneggerFebruary 12, 2005Not safe for church on SundayAn interesting twist on time travel...but not as excellent as Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Your Money Counts

168 pp.

0-9651114-0-7
Howard DaytonNovember 30, 2004I greatly benefitted from Crown Ministries
The Five Love Languages

204 pp.

1-881273-15-6
Gary ChapmanOctober 25, 2004Mandatory read. Excellent, profound book.
Three Weeks with My Brother

356 pp.

0-446-53244-4
Nicholas SparksAugust 2004Anybody with siblings, especially close ones, would really enjoy this book.
Three Junes

353 pp.

0-375-42241-2
Julia GlassJuly 2004Total chick-flick book.

FIction.
Neighborhood book club book.

There have never, ever, been so many words in a book I didn't recognize...probably over 100!
The Secret Life of Bees

320 pp.

0142001740
Sue Monk KiddJuly 2004Neighborhood book club book.

Fiction.

Total chick-flick book.
Entertaining...especially for a chick flick book.
Empire Falls

483 pp.

0-679-43247-7
Richard RussoJune 2004Neighborhood book club book.I wonder if in the author's world view he thinks very low of humanity
What's So Amazing About Grace?

304 pp.

978-0310245650
Philip YanceyMay 2004I've probably read through this three times but not sequential.

Excellent book. Must read.
Profound book. A must read for every Christian. I keep reading and re-reading out of this book.
The Cabinet of Curiousities

466 pp.

0-446-53022-0
Douglas Preston and Lincoln ChildJanuary 3, 2004Neighborhood book club book.

Fiction.

This is actually part three of a series.
Absolutely one of the most clever, creative books I have ever read...and to think that the authors live on separate coasts.
Hell Above and Hell Below

114 pp.

978-0911293050
Richard LewisQ4 2003Richard was the neighbor of some of my former neighbors, Kenny and Marlene Burleson (I think back in Connecticut).

Non-fiction.
Absolutely amazing story. War is awful. Some parts are more awful than others.
Learning Joy from Dogs without Collars

368 pp.

978-0743201025
Lauralee SummerQ4 2003Neighborhood book club book.

Non-fiction.

I can't believe how hard some have it.
Enjoyable read.
Living the Simple Life

350 pp.

978-0786862191
Elaine St. JamesQ4 2003A loaner from my friend and co-workder (at the time), Mr. Chris KloeckerValuable read.
The Millionaires

560 pp.

0446611921
Brad MeltzerQ3 2003Neighborhood book club book.

This was my first book club book. I was told in order to enjoy our neighbor's Tiramisu you had to read the book. So I did. And got hooked.
Really enjoyed the book. It was clever and had some good twists and turns. Also interesting to find out more about Disneyworld.
Wild at Heart

220 pp.

0-7852-6883-9
Q2, 2003
The Hobbit

275 pp.

978-0345538376
J.R.R TolkienQ2, 2003What an amazing tale, J.R.R Tolkien!